Squatting
Overview
Squatting consists of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied space or building
Building
In architecture, construction, engineering, real estate development and technology the word building may refer to one of the following:...

, usually residential, that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have permission to use.

Author Robert Neuwirth
Robert Neuwirth
Robert Neuwirth is an American journalist and author. He wrote Shadow Cities: A Billion Squatters, A New Urban World, a book describing his experiences living in squatter communities in Nairobi, Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul and Mumbai. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, The Nation, and...

 suggests that there are one billion squatters globally, that is, about one in every seven people on the planet. Yet, according to Kesia Reeve, "squatting is largely absent from policy and academic debate and is rarely conceptualized, as a problem, as a symptom, or as a social or housing movement."
In many of the world's poorer countries, there are extensive slum
Slum
A slum, as defined by United Nations agency UN-HABITAT, is a run-down area of a city characterized by substandard housing and squalor and lacking in tenure security. According to the United Nations, the percentage of urban dwellers living in slums decreased from 47 percent to 37 percent in the...

s or shanty town
Shanty town
A shanty town is a slum settlement of impoverished people who live in improvised dwellings made from scrap materials: often plywood, corrugated metal and sheets of plastic...

s, typically built on the edges of major cities
City
A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

 and consisting almost entirely of self-constructed housing built without the landowner's permission.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
Squatting consists of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied space or building
Building
In architecture, construction, engineering, real estate development and technology the word building may refer to one of the following:...

, usually residential, that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have permission to use.

Author Robert Neuwirth
Robert Neuwirth
Robert Neuwirth is an American journalist and author. He wrote Shadow Cities: A Billion Squatters, A New Urban World, a book describing his experiences living in squatter communities in Nairobi, Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul and Mumbai. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, The Nation, and...

 suggests that there are one billion squatters globally, that is, about one in every seven people on the planet. Yet, according to Kesia Reeve, "squatting is largely absent from policy and academic debate and is rarely conceptualized, as a problem, as a symptom, or as a social or housing movement."

Overview

In many of the world's poorer countries, there are extensive slum
Slum
A slum, as defined by United Nations agency UN-HABITAT, is a run-down area of a city characterized by substandard housing and squalor and lacking in tenure security. According to the United Nations, the percentage of urban dwellers living in slums decreased from 47 percent to 37 percent in the...

s or shanty town
Shanty town
A shanty town is a slum settlement of impoverished people who live in improvised dwellings made from scrap materials: often plywood, corrugated metal and sheets of plastic...

s, typically built on the edges of major cities
City
A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

 and consisting almost entirely of self-constructed housing built without the landowner's permission. While these settlements may, in time, grow to become both legalised and indistinguishable from normal residential neighbourhoods, they start off as squats with minimal basic infrastructure. Thus, there is no sewage system
Sewage collection and disposal
Sewage collection and disposal systems transport sewage through cities and other inhabited areas to sewage treatment plants to protect public health and prevent disease. Sewage is treated to control water pollution before discharge to surface waters....

, drinking water
Drinking water
Drinking water or potable water is water pure enough to be consumed or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm. In most developed countries, the water supplied to households, commerce and industry is all of drinking water standard, even though only a very small proportion is actually...

 must be bought from vendors or carried from a nearby tap, and if there is electricity, it is stolen from a passing cable.

There is an important distinction to be made between squatting by necessity and squatting as political statement. In this period of global recession and increased housing foreclosures, squatting has become far more prevalent in Western, developed nations. Obviously, in some cases, need-based and politically motivated squatting go hand in hand. According to Dr. Kesia Reeve, who specializes in housing research, "in the context of adverse housing circumstances, limited housing opportunity and frustrated expectations, squatters effectively remove themselves from and defy the norms of traditional channels of housing consumption and tenure power relations, bypassing the 'rules' of welfare provision." In effect, beleaguered citizens living in a welfare state that cannot provide them with adequate resources take action into their own hands and squat.

Dutch sociologist Hans Pruijt separates types of squatters into five distinct categories:
  • 1 Deprivation based - ie homeless people squatting for housing need
  • 2 An alternative housing strategy - eg people unprepared to wait on municipal lists to be housed take direct action (as discussed in the preceding paragraph)
  • 3 Entrepreneurial - eg people breaking buildings to service the need of a community for cheap bars, clubs etc
  • 4 Conservational - ie preserving monuments because the authorities have let them decay
  • 5 Political - eg activists squatting buildings as protests or to make social centres


In many countries, squatting is in itself a crime
Crime
Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority can ultimately prescribe a conviction...

; in others, it is only seen as a civil conflict
Private law
Private law is that part of a civil law legal system which is part of the jus commune that involves relationships between individuals, such as the law of contracts or torts, as it is called in the common law, and the law of obligations as it is called in civilian legal systems...

 between the owner and the occupants. Property law
Property law
Property law is the area of law that governs the various forms of ownership in real property and in personal property, within the common law legal system. In the civil law system, there is a division between movable and immovable property...

 and the state
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

 have traditionally favored the property owner. However, in many cases where squatters had de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

ownership, laws have been changed to legitimize their status. Squatters often claim rights over the spaces they have squatted by virtue of occupation, rather than ownership; in this sense, squatting is similar to (and potentially a necessary condition of) adverse possession
Adverse possession
Adverse possession is a process by which premises can change ownership. It is a common law concept concerning the title to real property . By adverse possession, title to another's real property can be acquired without compensation, by holding the property in a manner that conflicts with the true...

, by which a possessor of real property
Real property
In English Common Law, real property, real estate, realty, or immovable property is any subset of land that has been legally defined and the improvements to it made by human efforts: any buildings, machinery, wells, dams, ponds, mines, canals, roads, various property rights, and so forth...

 without title
Title (property)
Title is a legal term for a bundle of rights in a piece of property in which a party may own either a legal interest or an equitable interest. The rights in the bundle may be separated and held by different parties. It may also refer to a formal document that serves as evidence of ownership...

 may eventually gain legal title to the real property.

Anarchist
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 Colin Ward
Colin Ward
Colin Ward was a British anarchist writer. He has been called "one of the greatest anarchist thinkers of the past half century, and a pioneering social historian." -Life:...

 comments: "Squatting is the oldest mode of tenure in the world, and we are all descended from squatters. This is as true of the Queen
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

 [of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

] with her 176000 acres (712.2 km²) as it is of the 54 percent of householders in Britain who are owner-occupiers. They are all the ultimate recipients of stolen land, for to regard our planet as a commodity offends every conceivable principle of natural rights."

Besides being residences, some squats are used as social centres
Social center
Social centers are community spaces. They are buildings which are used for a range of disparate activities, which can be linked only by virtue of being not-for-profit. They might be organizing centers for local activities or they might provide support networks for minority groups such as prisoners...

 or host give-away shop
Give-away shop
Give-away shops, swap shops, freeshops, or free stores are stores where all goods are free. They are similar to charity shops, with mostly second-hand items — only everything is available at no cost...

s, pirate radio
Pirate radio
Pirate radio is illegal or unregulated radio transmission. The term is most commonly used to describe illegal broadcasting for entertainment or political purposes, but is also sometimes used for illegal two-way radio operation...

 stations or cafés. In Spanish-speaking
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 countries, squatters receive several names, such as okupas in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 or Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 (from the verb ocupar meaning "to occupy"), or paracaidistas in Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 (meaning "paratroopers", because they "parachute" themselves at unoccupied land).

Africa

There are large squatter communities in Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, such as Kibera
Kibera
Kibera is a division of Nairobi Area, Kenya, and neighbourhood of the city of Nairobi, located from the city centre. Kibera is the largest slum in Nairobi, and the second largest urban slum in Africa...

 in Nairobi
Nairobi
Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya. The city and its surrounding area also forms the Nairobi County. The name "Nairobi" comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyirobi, which translates to "the place of cool waters". However, it is popularly known as the "Green City in the Sun" and is...

. A BBC News
BBC News
BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

 report described it as follows: "The first thing that hits you here is this rich stench of almost 1 million people living in this ditch - in mud huts, with no sewage pipes, no roads, no water, no toilet, in fact, with no services of any kind."

An estimated 1,000 people live in the Grande Hotel Beira
Grande Hotel Beira
The Grande Hotel Beira was a luxury hotel in Beira, Mozambique that was open from 1952 to 1963. It continued to be used during the 1960s as a conference center and swimming pool. During the Mozambican Civil War it served as a refugee camp...

 in Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

.

The Zabbaleen
Zabbaleen
The Zabbaleen are a minority religious community of Coptic Christians who have served as Cairo's informal garbage collectors for approximately the past 70 to 80 years. Zabbaleen means "Garbage people" in Egyptian Arabic...

 settlement and the City of the Dead
City of the Dead (Cairo)
The City of the Dead, or Cairo Necropolis , is an Arabic necropolis and cemetery below the Mokattam Hills in southeastern Cairo, Egypt. The people of Cairo, the Cairenes, and most Egyptians, call it el'arafa...

 are both well-known squatter communities in Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

.

In South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, squatters tend to live in informal settlements or squatter camps on the outskirts of the larger cities, often but not always near townships
Township (South Africa)
In South Africa, the term township and location usually refers to the urban living areas that, from the late 19th century until the end of Apartheid, were reserved for non-whites . Townships were usually built on the periphery of towns and cities...

. In 1994, when Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

 was elected President, it was estimated that of South Africa's 44 million inhabitants, 7.7 million lived in these settlements. The number has grown rapidly in the post-apartheid era. Many buildings, particularly in the inner city
Inner city
The inner city is the central area of a major city or metropolis. In the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland, the term is often applied to the lower-income residential districts in the city centre and nearby areas...

 of Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Jo'burg or Egoli, is the largest city in South Africa, by population. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa...

 have also been occupied by squatters. Property owners or government authorities can usually evict squatters after following certain legal procedures including requesting a court order. In Durban
Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

, the city council routinely evicts without a court order in defiance of the law, and there has been sustained conflict between the city council and a shack dwellers' movement known as Abahlali baseMjondolo
Abahlali baseMjondolo
Abahlali baseMjondolo , also known as AbM or the red shirts is a shack-dwellers' movement in South Africa which is well known for its campaigning for public housing. The movement grew out of a road blockade organized from the Kennedy Road shack settlement in the city of Durban in early 2005 and now...

. There has been a number of similar conflicts between shack dwellers, some linked with the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign
Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign
The Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign is a non-racial popular movement made up of poor and oppressed communities in Cape Town, South Africa...

, and the city council in Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

. One of the most high-profile cases was the brutal evictions of squatters in the N2 Gateway
N2 Gateway
The N2 Gateway Housing Pilot Project is a large housebuilding project under construction in Cape Town, South Africa. It has been labeled by the national government's former Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu as “the biggest housing project ever undertaken by any Government.” Even though it is a joint...

 homes in the suburb of Delft
Delft, Cape Town
Delft is a township on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. It is situated next to the Cape Town International Airport, Belhar, Blue Downs & Site C, Khayelitsha. It is known for its high crime rate, substandard schools, lack of jobs, and numerous government built housing projects such as the...

, where over 20 residents were shot, including a three-year-old child. There have been numerous complaints about the legality of the government's actions and, in particular, whether the ruling of the judge was unfair given his party affiliations and the highly politicized nature of the case. Many of the families are now squatting on Symphony Way, a main road in the township of Delft. The City of Cape Town has been threatening them with eviction since February 2008.

India

In Mumbai
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

, there are an estimated 10 to 12 million inhabitants, and six million of them are squatters. The squatters live in a variety of ways. Some possess two- or three-story homes built out of brick and concrete which they have inhabited for years. Geeta Nagar is a squatter village based beside the Indian Navy
Indian Navy
The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the armed forces of India. The President of India serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. The Chief of Naval Staff , usually a four-star officer in the rank of Admiral, commands the Navy...

 compound at Colaba
Colaba
Colaba is a part of the city of Mumbai, India, and also a Lok Sabha constituency. During Portuguese rule in the 16th century, the island was known as Candil...

. Squatter Colony in Malad East has existed since 1962, and now, people living there pay a rent to the city council of 100 rupees a month. Dharavi
Dharavi
Dharavi is a slum and administrative ward, over parts of Sion, Bandra, Kurla and Kalina suburbs of Mumbai, India. It is sandwiched between Mahim in the west and Sion in the east, and spread over an area of 175 hectares, or...

 is a community of one million squatters. The stores and factories situated there are mainly illegal and so are unregulated, but it is suggested that they do over $1 million in business every day.

Other squatters live in shacks, situated literally on a pavement next to the road, with very few possessions.

Activists such as Jockin Arputham
Jockin Arputham
Jockin Arputham has worked for more than 40 years in ‘slums’ and shanty towns, building representative organizations into powerful partners with governments and international agencies for the betterment of urban living...

 are working for better living conditions for slum dwellers.

Malaysia

Many of Malaysia's squatters live on land owned by Keretapi Tanah Melayu
Keretapi Tanah Melayu
Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad or Malayan Railways Limited is the main rail operator in Peninsular Malaysia. The railway system dates back to the British colonial era, when it was first built to transport tin...

 as well as at construction sites.

Philippines

Squatting is a major issue in the Philippines, especially in industrialized areas of the Philippines, including Metro Manila. Squatting gained notice after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, when people built makeshift houses called Barong-Barong inside abandoned private plots of land.

In the late 20th century, the Philippine government made separate attempts to transfer some squatters to low-cost housing projects, including projects in Tondo
Tondo, Manila
Tondo is a district of Manila, Philippines. The locale has existed prior to the arrival of the Spanish, referred to as "Tundun" in the Laguna Copperplate Inscription. One of the most densely populated areas of land in the world, Tondo is located in the northwest portion of the city and is primarily...

 (in the former Smokey Mountain
Smokey Mountain
Smokey Mountain was a Filipino singing group formed by musical director, composer, conductor Ryan Cayabyab and executive producer Judd Berlin...

 landfill
Landfill
A landfill site , is a site for the disposal of waste materials by burial and is the oldest form of waste treatment...

), Taguig
Taguig City
Taguig is a city in Metro Manila in the Philippines. From a thriving fishing community along the shores of Laguna de Bay, it is now an important residential, commercial and industrial center...

 (BLISS Housing Project), and Rodriguez
Rodriguez, Rizal
Rodriguez, Rizal is a first-class, urban municipality in the province of Rizal, Philippines. It is the northernmost town in the province and comes after San Mateo, Rizal, and Quezon City coming from Metro Manila...

 (formerly Montalban), Rizal
Rizal
Rizal is a province located in the CALABARZON , just 16 kilometers east of Manila. The province was named after the country's national hero, José Rizal. Rizal Governor Casimiro A. Ynares III on June 17, 2008 announced the transfer of the Capitol from Pasig. Its P 270-million capitol building,...

.

In the Philippines, a distinction is made between squatters who squat because of poverty and squatters who squat because they want to profit (receive payment in exchange for leaving the real estate property). Squatters who hope to make a profit are called "professional squatters".

Europe

In many Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an countries, there are squatted houses used as residences and also larger squatted projects where people pursue social and cultural activities. Examples of the latter include an old leper
Leprosy
Leprosy or Hansen's disease is a chronic disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Named after physician Gerhard Armauer Hansen, leprosy is primarily a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract; skin lesions...

 hospital outside Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

 called Can Masdeu
Can Masdeu
Can Masdeu is a squatted social centre, residence and community garden in the Collserola Park on the outskirts of Barcelona. A former leper hospital which had been abandoned for some 53 years before its eviction, the squat became famous in 2002, when squatters in lockons and on tripods...

 and a former military barracks called Metelkova
Metelkova
Metelkova City is an autonomous social centre in the centre of Ljubljana, Slovenia. It is located on the site of former military barracks and was squatted September 1993. The site consists of seven buildings and was 12,500 m²...

 in Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

. Squats can be run on anarchist or communist principles, for example, Fabrika Yfanet, Villa Amalia in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, Ernst-Kirchweger-Haus
Ernst-Kirchweger-Haus
The Ernst-Kirchweger-Haus is a building in Vienna's 10th district, Favoriten.Since June 23, 1990, it has been a squatted social centre, which hosts migrants and refugees, community activities, and political groups.-Overview:...

 in Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 (has legal status) or Blitz
Blitz (movement)
Blitz is an anarchist, communist and socialist youth community in Oslo, Norway, founded in 1982. The group has often been criticized for their use of violent methods of political protest.- The house :...

 in Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 (has legal status). Young people squat buildings to use as concert venues for alternative types of music such as punk and hardcore. The eviction of one such place, Ungdomshuset
Ungdomshuset
Ungdomshuset was the popular name of the building formally named Folkets Hus located on Jagtvej 69 in Nørrebro, Copenhagen, which functioned as an underground scene venue for music and rendezvous point for varying autonomen and leftist groups from 1982 until 2007 when—after prolonged conflict—it...

, in March 2007 received international news coverage. Others have been legalised.

In Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, there is Bussana Vecchia
Bussana Vecchia, Liguria
Bussana Vecchia is a 100 year old ghost town in Liguria, a few kilometers from the Italian-French border. It is administratively part of the city of Sanremo.-History:...

, a ghost town
Ghost town
A ghost town is an abandoned town or city. A town often becomes a ghost town because the economic activity that supported it has failed, or due to natural or human-caused disasters such as floods, government actions, uncontrolled lawlessness, war, or nuclear disasters...

 in Liguria
Liguria
Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy, the third smallest of the Italian regions. Its capital is Genoa. It is a popular region with tourists for its beautiful beaches, picturesque little towns, and good food.-Geography:...

 which was abandoned in 1887 following an earthquake
Earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

 and subsequently squatted in the 1960s. In France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, there is Collectif la vieille Valette, a self-supporting squat village which has been active since 1991.

Denmark

Christiania
Freetown Christiania
Not to be confused with Christiania, Norway, another name for Oslo.Christiania, also known as Freetown Christiania is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood of about 850 residents, covering 34 hectares in the borough of Christianshavn in the Danish capital Copenhagen...

 is an independent community of almost 900 people founded in 1971 on the site of an abandoned military zone. In Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

, as in other European cities such as Berlin and Amsterdam, the squatter movement was large in the 1980s. It was a social movement
Social movement
Social movements are a type of group action. They are large informal groupings of individuals or organizations focused on specific political or social issues, in other words, on carrying out, resisting or undoing a social change....

, providing housing and alternative culture. A flashpoint came in 1986 with the Battle of Ryesgade
Battle of Ryesgade
The Battle of Ryesgade was a nine-day series of street fights in mid-September 1986, in the Copenhagen street Ryesgade. It was the most violent event in a long-standing conflict between the Copenhagen city council and the city's community of squatters...

. Another flashpoint came in 2007 when Ungdomshuset
Ungdomshuset
Ungdomshuset was the popular name of the building formally named Folkets Hus located on Jagtvej 69 in Nørrebro, Copenhagen, which functioned as an underground scene venue for music and rendezvous point for varying autonomen and leftist groups from 1982 until 2007 when—after prolonged conflict—it...

 was evicted. While not technically a squat until 14 December 2006, it was a social center used by squatters and people involved in alternative culture more generally.

France

Squatting is broadly an economic issue in France, particularly in Paris, one of the costliest cities in Europe. But whereas migrants without papers try not to draw the attention of the police, alternative and artist's squats break the news from the 1980s onwards. In the 1980s, Art-Cloche (from "clochard", i.e. tramp – founded by Jean Starck and Nicolas Pawlowski) promoted "artistic occupation", organising festivals and creating a fake museum.

In the 1990s, a wider movement comes from eastern Europe: young European artists settle in East-Berlin's abandoned buildings after the fall of the Wall. A few years later, back in their own countries, and notably in France, they began to occupy all kinds of places, from state-owned sites ("Lycee Diderot", where 300 artists worked for 2 years in so-called "Pôle Pi", dismantled by police in 1998), to institutional properties (Galerie Matignon, almost next door to Prime Minister's Hotel Matignon, and wealthy art galleries).

Around 2000, the artist's squats movement was exposed in the medias, and quite popular (as they chose to occupy empty public-owned buildings mainly, at a time when middle-class Parisians could not afford sky-rocketing prices for renting a decent flat). "L'électron libre", a gorgeously-ornamented building (in a raving psychedelic style) located in the core of the city (59 rue de Rivoli), and owned by a French Bank, was in 2001 the third most visited place for contemporary art (40,000 visitors a year, according to the French Ministry for Culture). Closed a few years ago, it was bought back by the socialist town council and reopened in 2010. Another famous place (les Frigos) was legalized and integrated into the cultural politics of the town council.

These cases illustrate the quest of most of artist's squat for agreements with buildings owners, be it for a few years ("bail precaire" i.e. "temporary lease"). A handful of mayors in France chose to experiment this form of support to living art (one of the best known is La Belle-de-Mai in Marseille), and Paris is coming to it, cautiously. The move may be too slow: in June 2010, Court ordered the eviction of Paris older artist's squat, a renowned place for close-to-free concerts (5,000 groups in 10 years, from all countries), and where the state-owned Culture TV-channel ARTE itself went to record live sessions: and there was nothing the mayor could do, the tenant being a private investor.

Germany

In the 1970s, squatting in West German cities led to "a self-confident urban counterculture with its own infrastructure of newspapers, self-managed collectives and housing cooperatives, feminist groups, and so on, which was prepared to intervene in local and broader politics". The Autonomen movement protected squats against eviction and participated in radical direct action.

After the German reunification
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

, many buildings were vacated due to the demise of former state-run enterprises and migration to the western parts of Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, some of which were then occupied by squatters. In Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, the now-legalised squats are in desirable areas such as Mitte
Mitte
Mitte is the first and most central borough of Berlin. It was created in Berlin's 2001 administrative reform by the merger of the former districts of Mitte proper, Tiergarten and Wedding; the resulting borough retained the name Mitte. It is one of the two boroughs which comprises former West and...

 and Prenzlauer Berg
Prenzlauer Berg
Prenzlauer Berg is a locality of Berlin, in the borough of Pankow.Until 2001, Prenzlauer Berg was a borough of Berlin; in that year it was included in the borough of Pankow....

. Before the reunification, squats in Berlin were mostly located in former West Berlin
West Berlin
West Berlin was a political exclave that existed between 1949 and 1990. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945...

's borough of Kreuzberg
Kreuzberg
Kreuzberg, a part of the combined Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg borough located south of Mitte since 2001, is one of the best-known areas of Berlin...

. The squats were mainly for residential and social use. Squatting became known by the term instandbesetzen, from instandsetzen ("renovating") and besetzen ("occupying").

Despite being illegal, squats exist in many of the larger cities. Examples are Au in Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

 and Hafenstraße
Hafenstraße
Hafenstraße is a common German abbreviation of St. Pauli-Hafenstraße, a street in St. Pauli, a quarter of Hamburg, Germany....

 and Rote Flora
Rote Flora
The Rote Flora is a former theater in the neighbourhood Schanzenviertel in Hamburg. It has been squatted in November 1989 in response to the decision to turn it into a musical theatre.- History of the building :...

 in Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

, though the last open squat of Berlin, Brunnenstraße183, was evicted in November 2009.

Squatting can also take place for campaigning purposes, such as the Anatopia
Anatopia
Anatopia was a land squat in Papenburg, Germany. The site was squatted July 4 1991 and evicted January 7 1995 after a long struggle. It was on a location where the Mercedes Benz automobile company intended to build a test track and became the focus of anti-Mercedes protests throughout Germany. The...

 project, which protested against a Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz is a German manufacturer of automobiles, buses, coaches, and trucks. Mercedes-Benz is a division of its parent company, Daimler AG...

 test track.

Greece

Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 has a long tradition of anarchist squats, the oldest one being Villa Amalias and Lelas Karagianni from late 80's. Also squatted in Athens are Patision & Skaramaga, Zaimi, Anw Katw, Pikpa, Strouga and others. An example of a more modern squat is Prapopoulou squat, which is well known internationally.

There are seven anarchist squatted buildings in Thessaloniki, notably Fabrika Yfanet, an 19.000 m2 area and over 100 years old textile factory, other squats are Terra Incognita
Terra incognita
Terra incognita or terra ignota is a term used in cartography for regions that have not been mapped or documented. The expression is believed to be first seen in Ptolemy’s Geography circa 150 CE...

, Delta, Sxolio, Orfanotrofio etc. There are also squats in Patras
Patras
Patras , ) is Greece's third largest urban area and the regional capital of West Greece, located in northern Peloponnese, 215 kilometers west of Athens...

, Chania
Chania
Chaniá , , also transliterated Chania, Hania, and Xania, older form Chanea and Venetian Canea, Ottoman Turkish خانيه Hanya) is the second largest city of Crete and the capital of the Chania peripheral unit...

, Volos
Volos
Volos is a coastal port city in Thessaly situated midway on the Greek mainland, about 326 km north of Athens and 215 km south of Thessaloniki...

, Heraklio, Ioannina
Ioannina
Ioannina , often called Jannena within Greece, is the largest city of Epirus, north-western Greece, with a population of 70,203 . It lies at an elevation of approximately 500 meters above sea level, on the western shore of lake Pamvotis . It is located within the Ioannina municipality, and is the...

, Mitilini, Corfu
Corfu
Corfu is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, and, including its small satellite islands, forms the edge of the northwestern frontier of Greece. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered as a single municipality. The...

. Also there are a lot of squats in university buildings.

Many anarchist squats in Greece have an abandoned garden nearby which the occupants often re-purpose as a free garden to grow organic
Organic food
Organic foods are foods that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives.For the...

 vegetables.

Most anarchist or autonomist
Autonomism
Autonomism refers to a set of left-wing political and social movements and theories close to the socialist movement. As an identifiable theoretical system it first emerged in Italy in the 1960s from workerist communism...

 squats in Greece maintain a blog
Blog
A blog is a type of website or part of a website supposed to be updated with new content from time to time. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in...

 or website to post their news, and they often also have an internet forum
Internet forum
An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. They differ from chat rooms in that messages are at least temporarily archived...

 and e-mail address. Community-oriented squats often organize music gigs or movie screenings, usually announced on Athens Indymedia or Kinimatorama.net in addition to the squat's blog. A few squats experiment with DIY
Do it yourself
Do it yourself is a term used to describe building, modifying, or repairing of something without the aid of experts or professionals...

 renewable energy generation, such as wind turbine
Wind turbine
A wind turbine is a device that converts kinetic energy from the wind into mechanical energy. If the mechanical energy is used to produce electricity, the device may be called a wind generator or wind charger. If the mechanical energy is used to drive machinery, such as for grinding grain or...

s, but most of them are depended on the main grid or have no power (there have been attempts by the power and water companies to cut their access to these resources). Sometimes anarchist or autonomist academics or writers of international fame are invited to give talks at squats, and very often free food is served to the community. Usually every squat's blog also lists links to the blogs of most other squats.

Most politically-oriented squats in Greece hold regular (usually weekly) open meetings where everyone is allowed to attend and see how work at the squat is organized and how the responsibilities are shared among the squat's team. Anarchist and autonomist squats in Greece engage with the local community by hosting cultural events, political talks, printing posters and announcements, or going out to the local community's square and holding events there, such as movie screenings, music gigs, talks, or offering free food, books, clothes, or children's toys.

Anarchist and autonomist squats in Greece and people visiting them often face state persecution, including arrests or police attacks, in addition to violent attacks by the far-right.

A steki (Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 for place) is a place very similar to an anarchist or autonomist squat without being really squatted, usually being a small rented apartment or building.

Iceland

Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

, on the other hand, does not have a long tradition of squatting, but homeless people have been occupying abandoned houses for the same reasons as in other countries. The number of homeless people in Iceland is not high, so it has not received much attention since slums do not exist. The first political squat was done on Vatnsstigur 4 in Reykjavik on the 9th of April 2009, 6 months after a complete economic collapse due to bankers that bought all the banks 4 years earlier. This was done by a group of people with anarchists ideas stating that "capitalism allows banks to own a house and leave them intentionally empty so that they will rot on their own and be replaced with a shopping center, using money that didn't exist and left the debt to the people that many did not participate in the loan-spree advocated by the banks before depression." "We will not tolerate that the rich are getting richer and the society getting less cultural." In 5 days the targeted house was shaped up, a free-store was opened, paper and music publishing had started, and there was support from the neighbours who were excited to get some "life in the street". The house was gutted by between 50-60 riot police officers 5 days later and arrested the 15 squatters after they had barricaded themselves inside and resisted for over 2 hours. People associated with the independent media were also arrested.
In the following weeks, the free shop was reopened several times. The first instance of this was on the 6th of May, 2009 in solidarity with the Rozbrat squat in Poland. In July 2009 the house was put on fire.

The second squat used as a social space was founded by a group of graffiti artists that put up an art-exhibition on the 7th of July, 2009.

The third political squat was on Skólavörðustígur also squatted in July 2009. It was an anarchist social center until October 2009 when three young kids putted it on fire.

Few other political but low profile squats have been in Reykjavík since, for example Bræðraborgarstígur 31 which was squatted by few anarchist girls for almost two years.

Italy

In Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, squatting has no legal basis, but there are many squats used as social centres. The first occupations of abandoned buildings began in 1968 with the left-wing movements Lotta Continua
Lotta Continua
Lotta Continua was a far left extra-parliamentary organization in Italy. It was founded in autumn 1969 by a split in the student-worker movement of Turin, which had started militant activity at the universities and factories such as Fiat...

 and Potere Operaio
Potere Operaio
Potere Operaio was a radical left-wing Italian political group, active between 1968 and 1973. Among the group's leaders were Antonio Negri, Franco Piperno, Oreste Scalzone and Valerio Morucci, who led its clandestine...

. Out of the breakup of these two movements was born Autonomia Operaia
Autonomia Operaia
Autonomia Operaia was an Italian extra-parliamentary leftist movement particularly active from 1976 to 1978. It emerged in 1972 not as a party but rather as a place of encounter among various extra-parliamentary and revolutionary left-wing tendencies opposed to reformism...

, which was composed of a Marxist-Leninist and Maoist wing and also an anarchist and more libertarian one. These squats had Marxist-Leninist (but also Stalinist and Maoist) ideals and come from the left wing of Autonomia. The militants of the Italian armed struggle (the New Red Brigades
Red Brigades
The Red Brigades was a Marxist-Leninist terrorist organisation, based in Italy, which was responsible for numerous violent incidents, assassinations, and robberies during the so-called "Years of Lead"...

) were connected to these squats.

The disobedience squats (see Tute Bianche
Tute Bianche
Tute Bianche was a militant Italian social movement, active from 1994 to 2001.Activists covered their bodies with padding so as to resist the blows of police, to push through police lines, and to march together in large blocks for mutual protection during demonstrations.-Name:Tute Bianche means,...

 and Ya Basta Association
Ya Basta Association
The Ya Basta Association is a network of Italian anti-capitalist and pro-immigrants rights organizations and groups, fueled by the Italian social center movement, formed in 1994, and known for the "authorship" of the Tute Bianche, and later disobbedienti phenomena.Formed as a result of the "eros...

), which are much more common in Italy than the other squats, refuse communist ideology and all its ideals (class war
Class conflict
Class conflict is the tension or antagonism which exists in society due to competing socioeconomic interests between people of different classes....

, anti-imperialism
Anti-imperialism
Anti-imperialism, strictly speaking, is a term that may be applied to a movement opposed to any form of colonialism or imperialism. Anti-imperialism includes opposition to wars of conquest, particularly of non-contiguous territory or people with a different language or culture; it also includes...

, anti-capitalism
Anti-capitalism
Anti-capitalism describes a wide variety of movements, ideas, and attitudes which oppose capitalism. Anti-capitalists, in the strict sense of the word, are those who wish to completely replace capitalism with another system....

). They are simply inspired by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation
Zapatista Army of National Liberation
The Zapatista Army of National Liberation is a revolutionary leftist group based in Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico....

 and part of the ideology of taken the thoughts of Antonio Negri
Antonio Negri
Antonio Negri is an Italian Marxist sociologist and political philosopher.Negri is best-known for his co-authorship of Empire, and secondarily for his work on Spinoza. Born in Padua, he became a political philosophy professor in his hometown university...

. Then there are antagonist squats which are inspired by the Marxism-Leninism of the 1970s: workerism
Workerism
Workerism is a name given to different trends in left-wing political discourse, especially anarchism and Marxism. In one sense, it describes a political position concerning the political importance and centrality of the working class. Because this was of particular significance in the Italian...

 and autonomism
Autonomism
Autonomism refers to a set of left-wing political and social movements and theories close to the socialist movement. As an identifiable theoretical system it first emerged in Italy in the 1960s from workerist communism...

. There are also anarchist squats.

The Italian squats are known as C.S.O.A. (Centro Sociale Occupato Autogestito, "self-governing squatter social centers") and include: Leoncavallo, Cantiere, Cox 18, Cascina Torchiera, La Fucina, Vittoria, Transiti 28, Panetteria Occupata, Bottiglieria Occupata and Villa Vegan Squat in Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, Telos in Saronno
Saronno
Saronno is a comune of Lombardy, Italy, in the province of Varese. It received the honorary title of city with a presidential decree in 1960.The place is well known for its apricot kernel biscuits and is also a manufacturing town....

, Officina 99, SKA, Insurgencia, Cinema Astra Occupato and Terra Terra in Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

, Askatasuna, El Paso, Gabrio, Murazzi, la Boccia Squat, Mezcal Squat, Asilo Squat and Barocchio Squat in Turin
Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

, Brancaleone, Corto Circuito, Forte Prenestino, La Strada, Acrobax, Spartaco, Torre Maura, Horus, L38 Laurentino Squat, Macchia Rossa and Villaggio Globale in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, Buridda, Pinelli, Terra Di Nessuno, Aut Aut 357 and Zapata in Genoa
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

, Rivolta in Mestre
Mestre
Mestre is a city part of the comune of Venice, in Veneto, northern Italy.The city is connected to Venice by a large rail and road bridge, called Ponte della Libertà ....

, Gramigna and Pedro in Padua
Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

, La Chimica in Verona
Verona
Verona ; German Bern, Dietrichsbern or Welschbern) is a city in the Veneto, northern Italy, with approx. 265,000 inhabitants and one of the seven chef-lieus of the region. It is the second largest city municipality in the region and the third of North-Eastern Italy. The metropolitan area of Verona...

, Bruno in Trento
Trento
Trento is an Italian city located in the Adige River valley in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. It is the capital of Trentino...

, Dordoni in Cremona
Cremona
Cremona is a city and comune in northern Italy, situated in Lombardy, on the left bank of the Po River in the middle of the Pianura Padana . It is the capital of the province of Cremona and the seat of the local City and Province governments...

, Magazzino 47 in Brescia
Brescia
Brescia is a city and comune in the region of Lombardy in northern Italy. It is situated at the foot of the Alps, between the Mella and the Naviglio, with a population of around 197,000. It is the second largest city in Lombardy, after the capital, Milan...

, Pacì Paciana in Bergamo
Bergamo
Bergamo is a town and comune in Lombardy, Italy, about 40 km northeast of Milan. The comune is home to over 120,000 inhabitants. It is served by the Orio al Serio Airport, which also serves the Province of Bergamo, and to a lesser extent the metropolitan area of Milan...

, Barattolo in Pavia
Pavia
Pavia , the ancient Ticinum, is a town and comune of south-western Lombardy, northern Italy, 35 km south of Milan on the lower Ticino river near its confluence with the Po. It is the capital of the province of Pavia. It has a population of c. 71,000...

, Firenze Sud in Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, Experia and Auro in Catania
Catania
Catania is an Italian city on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea, between Messina and Syracuse. It is the capital of the homonymous province, and with 298,957 inhabitants it is the second-largest city in Sicily and the tenth in Italy.Catania is known to have a seismic history and...

, Ex-Karcere in Palermo
Palermo
Palermo is a city in Southern Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Province of Palermo. The city is noted for its history, culture, architecture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence; it is over 2,700 years old...

, Ex-Mattatoio in Perugia
Perugia
Perugia is the capital city of the region of Umbria in central Italy, near the River Tiber, and the capital of the province of Perugia. The city is located about north of Rome. It covers a high hilltop and part of the valleys around the area....

, Mario Lupo in Parma
Parma
Parma is a city in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna famous for its ham, its cheese, its architecture and the fine countryside around it. This is the home of the University of Parma, one of the oldest universities in the world....

, la Scintilla in Modena
Modena
Modena is a city and comune on the south side of the Po Valley, in the Province of Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy....

, Mezza Canaja in Senigallia
Senigallia
Senigallia is a comune and port town on Italy's Adriatic coast, 25 km by rail north of Ancona, in the Marche region, province of Ancona....

, Kontatto in Ancona
Ancona
Ancona is a city and a seaport in the Marche region, in central Italy, with a population of 101,909 . Ancona is the capital of the province of Ancona and of the region....

, TNT in Jesi
Jesi
thumb|250px|Teatro Pergolesi.Iesi is a town and comune of the province of Ancona in the Marche, Italy.It is an important industrial and artistic center in the floodplain on the left bank of the Esino river before its mouth on the Adriatic Sea.-History:Iesi was one of the last towns of the Umbri...

, Godzilla in Livorno
Livorno
Livorno , traditionally Leghorn , is a port city on the Tyrrhenian Sea on the western edge of Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Livorno, having a population of approximately 160,000 residents in 2009.- History :...

, Rebeldia and Newroz in Pisa
Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

, Teatro Polivalente, Lazzaretto, XM24, Livello 57 and Crash in Bologna
Bologna
Bologna is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna, in the Po Valley of Northern Italy. The city lies between the Po River and the Apennine Mountains, more specifically, between the Reno River and the Savena River. Bologna is a lively and cosmopolitan Italian college city, with spectacular history,...

, Cartella in Reggio Calabria
Reggio Calabria
Reggio di Calabria , commonly known as Reggio Calabria or Reggio, is the biggest city and the most populated comune of Calabria, southern Italy, and is the capital of the Province of Reggio Calabria and seat of the Council of Calabrian government.Reggio is located on the "toe" of the Italian...

, Rialzo in Cosenza
Cosenza
Cosenza is a city in southern Italy, located at the confluence of two historic rivers: the Busento and the Crathis. The municipal population is of around 70,000; the urban area, however, counts over 260,000 inhabitants...

, Fiumara in Catanzaro, Cloro Rosso in Taranto
Taranto
Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base....

 and many others.

Many famous Italian Oi!
Oi!
Oi! is a working class subgenre of punk rock that originated in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s. The music and its associated subculture had the goal of bringing together punks, skinheads and other working-class youths ....

, ska
Ska
Ska |Jamaican]] ) is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s, and was the precursor to rocksteady and reggae. Ska combined elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues...

, hardcore punk
Hardcore punk
Hardcore punk is an underground music genre that originated in the late 1970s, following the mainstream success of punk rock. Hardcore is generally faster, thicker, and heavier than earlier punk rock. The origin of the term "hardcore punk" is uncertain. The Vancouver-based band D.O.A...

 and rock
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

 bands, such as Los Fastidios
Los Fastidios
Los Fastidios is an Italian Oi! band. It was formed in Verona in 1991, however only one of the original band members remain. Songs of Los Fastidios deal with common life situations, as well as promoting equality, socialism and fight against discrimination...

, Klasse Kriminale
Klasse kriminale
Klasse Kriminale is an Italian punk rock band founded in the Liguria region of Italy in 1985. Their sound is a fusion of Oi!, punk, ska and reggae. Their lyrics discuss social issues such as work, unemployment, drugs, media, street life, and generational gaps...

, Banda Bassotti
Banda Bassotti
Banda Bassotti is an Italian ska-punk band formed in 1987 in Rome. Their songs are generally political in nature, focusing on Communist and anti-Fascist issues. Many are about Latin America, as well. The band was inspired by The Clash and The Specials. The band was very politically active from the...

, Negazione
Negazione
Negazione was a hardcore punk band based in Turin, Italy during the 80's and early 90's.Formed in 1983, they were one of the most important band for the hardcore punk scene in Italy at the time...

, Wretched, Raw Power
Raw Power (band)
Raw Power is an Italian hardcore punk band from Reggio Emilia. They were formed in 1981 and are still active today.- Biography :Raw Power was formed in 1981 in Poviglio , Italy, by brothers Mauro and Giuseppe Codeluppi...

, and Cripple Bastards
Cripple Bastards
Cripple Bastards is a grindcore band from Asti, Italy. They were formed in 1988 in order to keep their area on the hardcore map as most of the other bands around them were breaking up....

 tour in the areas of these social centers. Recently, several far-right squats have also emerged, the best known being CasaPound, with many social centers all around Italy.

Moldova

Squatting in Moldova is pretty new, as it started with Centro 73
Centro 73
Centro 73 is a social and cultural center of Chişinău and the first squat created in Moldova, which opened the 25th of September 2010. It is located 73, Alexei Mateevici street....

 in Chişinău
Chisinau
Chișinău is the capital and largest municipality of Moldova. It is also its main industrial and commercial centre and is located in the middle of the country, on the river Bîc...

 in September 2010. This project is working and starts to be know in medias. A second project of squat in Chişinău
Chisinau
Chișinău is the capital and largest municipality of Moldova. It is also its main industrial and commercial centre and is located in the middle of the country, on the river Bîc...

 in the old Turkish embassy (57, Alexei Mateevici street), called Ada Kaleh
Ada Kaleh
Ada Kaleh was a small island on the Danube populated mostly by Turks that was submerged during the construction of the Iron Gates hydroelectric plant in 1970. The island was about 3 km downstream from Orşova and measured 1.75 by 0.4–0.5 km....

, was evicted by police in November 2010.

Banned

On June 1, 2010, the squatting ban was accepted by both houses of Parliament. Squatting in the Netherlands became illegal and punishable when a decree was sent out that the law would be enforced from the first of October. In protest, squatters in Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 had occupied a former fire department the week before the law began (returning it to the owners control on 30 September) and a riot occurred on 1 October when the police blocked a protest and led a horse charge upon it. In Nijmegen (on 2 October), there was also a riot.

History

In the past a building could be used legally by someone who needed to squat if it was empty and not in use for twelve months, and the owner had no pressing need to use it (such as a rental contract starting in the next month). The only illegal aspect was forcing an entry, if that was necessary. When a building was squatted, it was normal to send the owner a letter and to invite the police to inspect the squat. The police checked whether the place was indeed lived in by the squatter. In legal terms, this means there must be a bed, a chair, a table and a working lock on the door which the squatter can open and close.

In cities, there was often a kraakspreekuur (squatters' consultation hour), at which people planning to squat could get advice from experienced squatters. In Amsterdam, where the squatting community is still large, there are four kraakspreekuur sessions in different areas of the city, and so-called "wild" squatting (squatting a building without the help of the local group) is not encouraged. Dutch squatters use the term krakers to refer to people who squat houses with the aim of living in them (as opposed to people who break into buildings for the purpose of vandalism or theft).

There are still many residential squats in Dutch cities. There are also some squats in the countryside such as a squatted village called Ruigoord
Ruigoord
Ruigoord is a former island and a village in the Houtrakpolder in the IJ meer in the Dutch province of North Holland. It is a part of the municipality of Amsterdam, and lies about 8 km east of Haarlem....

 near Amsterdam and Fort Pannerden
Fort Pannerden
Fort Pannerden is a disused military fort situated near the village of Pannerden in the southeast of the Netherlands. In November 2006, it became the focus of national news stories because a group of squatters were evicted in a large-scale operation by police, helped by the army...

 near Nijmegen. Fort Pannerden (a military fort built in 1869) was evicted on November 8, 2006, by a massive police operation which used military machinery and cost one million euro
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

s. The squatters then re-squatted the fort on November 26 and have since made a deal with the local council which owns the fort. The deal states that the squatters will receive a large piece of land near the fort to start a community in the rural area in between the city of Nijmegen and Arnhem
Arnhem
Arnhem is a city and municipality, situated in the eastern part of the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of Gelderland and located near the river Nederrijn as well as near the St. Jansbeek, which was the source of the city's development. Arnhem has 146,095 residents as one of the...

. In exchange, the fort was handed over to local authorities, who will turn it into a museum, with help provided by the squatters that used to live in Fort Pannerden.

In the past, squats sometimes went through a process of legalisation. This is the case with the Poortgebouw
Poortgebouw
The Poortgebouw is a national monument located by the River Maas in the Kop van Zuid area of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. It was built in 1879 and experienced a range of uses until it was squatted October 3, 1980...

 in Rotterdam, which was squatted in 1980. In 1982, the inhabitants agreed to pay rent to the city council. The oRKZ (Oude Rooms-Katholieke Ziekenhuis) in Groningen, squatted in 1979, is an old Roman Catholic hospital, which was declared legal in the 1980s.

Well-known squats include the OT301
OT301
OT301 used to be a squat in the Dutch city of Amsterdam which is located on Overtoom 301. EHBK has now bought the building which is used as a multi-media alternative cultural centre. The building is an old film academy and was squatted in 1999 by a group of artists...

, Vrankrijk and the Binnenpret in Amsterdam, Anarres in Dordrecht, Het Slaakhuis
Het Slaakhuis
Het Slaakhuis is a squat in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It is located on a street called Slaak and was squatted in May 2003. Initially the space hosted film nights, workshops, parties and a cafe. There was a free shop and lessons were taught in Dutch and kung fu.The building is a six-storey office...

 in Rotterdam and the Landbouwbelang and Villa Vendex in Maastricht. De Blauwe Aanslag
De Blauwe Aanslag
De Blauwe Aanslag was a squat in the Dutch city of The Hague. The property was a former tax office which was squatted in 1980. The name refers the blue papers which a person must fill in every year as a tax return....

 in The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

 was evicted in 2003.

Squatting gained a legal basis in the Netherlands in 1971, when the Supreme Court ruled that the concept of domestic peace (huisvrede) (which means a house cannot be entered without the permission of the current user) also applied to squatters. Since then, the owner of the building must take the squatters to court (or take illegal action) in order to evict them. A law was passed in 1994 which made it illegal to squat a building which was empty for less than one year.

There were several moves to ban squatting in the past. In 1978, the Council of Churches launched a protest which scotched the idea. In June 2006, two ministers from the Dutch government
Politics of the Netherlands
The politics of the Netherlands take place within the framework of a parliamentary representative democracy, a constitutional monarchy and a decentralised unitary state. The Netherlands is described as a consociational state...

 (Sybilla Dekker
Sybilla Dekker
Sybilla Dekker is a Dutch politician.-References:...

 and Piet Hein Donner
Piet Hein Donner
Jan Pieter Hendrik "Piet Hein" Donner is a Dutch politician of the Christian Democratic Appeal . He is the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations in the Cabinet Rutte since October 14, 2010....

) proposed a plan to make squatting illegal. Other ministers, such as Alexander Pechtold
Alexander Pechtold
Alexander Pechtold is a Dutch politician of the Democrats 66 party. He has been a member of the House of Representatives since 30 November 2006 as well as Parliamentary group leader since 23 November 2006...

, were not in favor of this plan. Representatives of the four largest Dutch cities wrote a letter stating that it would not be in their interest to ban squatting. Squatters nationwide made banners and hung them on their squats in protest.

On October 1, 2010, squatting was finally outlawed in The Netherlands after the Squatting Ban Bill was passed into law by both houses of Parliament.
On October 28, 2011, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands decided that the legally forced end of squatting can only occur after an intervention of a judge.

Spain

Squatting of empty lots with shanty towns became popular in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 in the 1960s and 1970s as a result of the shortage of urban accommodation during the rural exodus
Urbanization
Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008....

.
Gradually it was substituted by high-rise blocks (often built quickly and poorly).
It was revived in the mid-1980s during the La Movida Madrileña
La Movida Madrileña
La Movida Madrileña was a countercultural movement that took place mainly in Madrid during the Spanish transition after Francisco Franco's death in 1975...

, under the name of the okupa (an unofficial spelling applied to ocupación) movement, when thousands of illegal squatted buildings were legalized. Influenced by the British Levellers, the movement's popularity rose again during the 1990s, once more due to a housing crisis, this time related to the 1992 Summer Olympics
1992 Summer Olympics
The 1992 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event celebrated in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, in 1992. The International Olympic Committee voted in 1986 to separate the Summer and Winter Games, which had been held in the same...

 and the concomitant urban regeneration. Property speculation and house price inflation
Inflation
In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a...

 continue to catalyze okupa activism
Activism
Activism consists of intentional efforts to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change. Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing...

.

Related to the anarchist movement
Anarchism in Spain
Anarchism has historically gained more support and influence in Spain than anywhere else, especially before Francisco Franco's victory in the Spanish Civil War of 1936–1939....

, okupas support the ideal of Autogestion
Workers' self-management
Worker self-management is a form of workplace decision-making in which the workers themselves agree on choices instead of an owner or traditional supervisor telling workers what to do, how to do it and where to do it...

 and create social centers, such as Patio Maravillas
Patio Maravillas
Patio Maravillas is a Multi-purpose Autonomously-governed Space in central Madrid.- First building: Acuerdo, 8 :It started life in the summer of 2007 with the squatting and fixing up of a building that was formerly a school and had been closed for 7 years, at 8 Acuerdo Street, in the Malasaña...

 in Madrid, which carry out various grassroots
Grassroots
A grassroots movement is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures...

 activities. The okupa movement represents a highly politicized form of squatting, so much so that participants often claim they live in squats as a form of political protest first and foremost. The movement is involved in various other social struggles, including the alter-globalization
Alter-globalization
Alter-globalization is the name of a social movement that supports global cooperation and interaction, but which opposes the negative effects of economic globalization, feeling that it often works to the detriment of, or does not...

 movement. In 1996, during José María Aznar
José María Aznar
José María Alfredo Aznar López served as the Prime Minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004. He is on the board of directors of News Corporation.-Early life:...

's presidency, the first specific legislation against squatting was passed and became the prelude to many squat evictions. In the barrio of Lavapiés
Lavapiés
Lavapiés is a central neighbourhood of the city of Madrid, centered on Plaza de Lavapiés.It was the Jewish quarter of the city until the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, the church of San Lorenzo being built on the former site of the synagogue...

 in Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, the Eskalera Karakola
Eskalera Karakola
Eskalera Karakola is a squat in Madrid, Spain, which is held by feminists and works on autogestion principles. It was situated in the Lavapiés barrio from 1996 to 2005, and is now in Calle Embajador. The squat organizes activities focussing on domestic violence and women's precarity in...

 was a feminist
Feminism
Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. Its concepts overlap with those of women's rights...

 self-managed squat, which was active from 1996 to 2005 and participated in the nextGENDERation network. Other examples are the Escuela Popular de Prosperidad (La Prospe) o Minuesa.

As of 2007, there were approximately 200 occupied houses in Barcelona. At least 45 of these, as Infousurpa, a collective event calendar, mentions, are used as social and cultural centers—so- called "open houses". A number of popular rock
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

 groups
Musical ensemble
A musical ensemble is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles...

 have come out of this kind of venue, such as Sin Dios
Sin Dios
Sin Dios was a hardcore/anarcho-punk band from Spain that formed in 1988 in Madrid. Their first gigs were held in squatted houses . In 1990 they released their first demo "...Ni amo" which contained 13 tracks and took them to their first tour across Spain always playing within autonomous and...

, Extremoduro
Extremoduro
Extremoduro is a Spanish rock band from Plasencia, Extremadura. The band is led by Roberto Iniesta, also known as "Robe", who is often referred as "El rey de Extremadura" ....

, Kolumna Durruti, Refugio and Platero y Tu
Platero y Tú
Platero y Tú was a Spanish rock band founded in Bilbao in the 1980s, and disbanded in 2001. Their lyrics speak mainly of drugs, bar issues and love, and their style, being mainly influenced by bands like Status Quo or Leño, and guitarists like John Fogerty from Creedence Clearwater Revival, broke...

 in Madrid and Ojos de Brujo
Ojos de Brujo
Ojos de Brujo is a nine-piece band from Barcelona, Spain, who describe their style as "jipjop flamenkillo"...

 and Gadjo
Gadjo
Gadjo is the alias of the German DJ, producer and remixer, Murat Arslan. He is best known for his hit "So Many Times", featuring Alexandra Prince on vocals. It became an international club hit in the winter of 2005, peaking in 2006...

 in Barcelona.

The Basque Country is another area where a high number of houses are occupied. There are at least 46 squats, or gaztetxes ("youth's houses" in the Basque language). During the 1980s, a house was occupied by squatters in almost every town, and the booming punk
Punk subculture
The punk subculture includes a diverse array of ideologies, and forms of expression, including fashion, visual art, dance, literature, and film, which grew out of punk rock.-History:...

 movement used them to organize concert tours and expositions. During the last 10 years, at least 15 gaztetxes have closed down, often after protests and clashes with the police. The best known gaztetxe currently is from Gasteiz. Squatting has always been related with the Basque independence movement. In the French Basque Country, there are at least five other squat houses.

Chabolismo (shanty towns)

Parallelly there has been a not-ideologized current of shanty towns around big cities.
Initially settled by sedentarized Gitanos and Mercheros, they became known after the 1980s as selling points for heroin and other drugs.
As the Spanish nomads were transferred to public housing, the shanty towns became inhabited by poor immigrants, including Moroccans and Romanian Romas.
The Cañada Real Galiana
is an example.
It is part of the cañada
Cañada
The Spanish word cañada means glen; it is etymologically unrelated to Canada, which is derived from an Iroquois word meaning "village" or "settlement" and generally refers to the country in North America...

 network of glen
Glen
A glen is a valley, typically one that is long, deep, and often glacially U-shaped; or one with a watercourse running through such a valley. Whittow defines it as a "Scottish term for a deep valley in the Highlands" that is "narrower than a strath."...

s, used since the Reconquista
Reconquista
The Reconquista was a period of almost 800 years in the Middle Ages during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula broadly known as Al-Andalus...

 by the Mesta
Mesta
The Mesta was a powerful association of sheep holders in the medieval Kingdom of Castile....

 organization of sheep-owners for cattle transportation.
As such it is public domain
Public domain
Works are in the public domain if the intellectual property rights have expired, if the intellectual property rights are forfeited, or if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all...

 and cannot be subjected to other incompatible uses.
However a section near Madrid has been squatted, becoming a linear city
Linear city
The linear city was an urban plan for an elongated urban formation. The city would consist of a series of functionally specialized parallel sectors. Generally, the city would run parallel to a river and be built so that the dominant wind would blow from the residential areas to the industrial strip...

 of about 40,000 people and 15 km in length.
The status of the neighborhoods varies along the way.
Some areas are drug markets, others are settled by Spanish workers residing there since 20 years ago, and others have families of recently arrived immigrants.

Switzerland

There are squats in the Swiss
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 cities of Bern, Geneva
Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

, Winterthur
Winterthur
Winterthur is a city in the canton of Zurich in northern Switzerland. It has the country's sixth largest population with an estimate of more than 100,000 people. In the local dialect and by its inhabitants, it is usually abbreviated to Winti...

, Lausanne
Lausanne
Lausanne is a city in Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland, and is the capital of the canton of Vaud. The seat of the district of Lausanne, the city is situated on the shores of Lake Geneva . It faces the French town of Évian-les-Bains, with the Jura mountains to its north-west...

, Basel
Basel
Basel or Basle In the national languages of Switzerland the city is also known as Bâle , Basilea and Basilea is Switzerland's third most populous city with about 166,000 inhabitants. Located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany...

, Biel/Bienne
Biel/Bienne
Biel/Bienne is a city in the district of the Biel/Bienne administrative district in the canton of Bern in Switzerland.It is located on the language boundary and is throughout bilingual. Biel is the German name for the town, Bienne its French counterpart. The town is often referred to in both...

, Zürich
Zürich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

 and Lugano
Lugano
Lugano is a city of inhabitants in the city proper and a total of over 145,000 people in the agglomeration/city region, in the south of Switzerland, in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, which borders Italy...

.

The RHINO
RHINO (squat)
RHINO was a famous squat in Geneva, Switzerland. It occupied two buildings on the Boulevard des Philosophes in downtown Geneva, a few blocks away from the main campus of the University of Geneva. RHINO housed about seventy people before its evacuation in July 2007 and had been occupied by the...

 ("Retour des Habitants dans les Immeubles Non-Occupés"; in English, "Return of Inhabitants to Non-Occupied Buildings") was a 19-year-long squat in Geneva
Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

. It occupied two buildings on the Boulevard des Philosophes, a few blocks away from the main campus of the University of Geneva
University of Geneva
The University of Geneva is a public research university located in Geneva, Switzerland.It was founded in 1559 by John Calvin, as a theological seminary and law school. It remained focused on theology until the 17th century, when it became a center for Enlightenment scholarship. In 1873, it...

. The RHINO organisation often faced legal troubles, and Geneva police evicted the inhabitants on July 23, 2007.

United Kingdom

England

In England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, squatting has a long historical tradition. The BBC states that squatting was "a big issue in the Peasants' Revolt
Peasants' Revolt
The Peasants' Revolt, Wat Tyler's Rebellion, or the Great Rising of 1381 was one of a number of popular revolts in late medieval Europe and is a major event in the history of England. Tyler's Rebellion was not only the most extreme and widespread insurrection in English history but also the...

 of 1381 and again for the Diggers in the 17th Century [who] were peasants who cultivated waste and common land, claiming it as their rightful due" and that squatting was a necessity after the Second World War when so many were homeless. The BBC also reported in 2011 that the British government estimated that there were "20,000 squatters in the UK" and "650,000 empty properties".

In March 2011, Mike Weatherley
Mike Weatherley
Michael 'Mike' Richard Weatherley is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Hove in East Sussex, since winning the seat in the 2010 general election.-Before politics:...

, Conservative MP for Hove
Hove
Hove is a town on the south coast of England, immediately to the west of its larger neighbour Brighton, with which it forms the unitary authority Brighton and Hove. It forms a single conurbation together with Brighton and some smaller towns and villages running along the coast...

, proposed an Early Day Motion
Early day motion
An Early Day Motion , in the Westminster system, is a motion, expressed as a single sentence, tabled by Members of Parliament for debate "on an early day" . Controversial EDMs are not signed by Government Ministers, PPS or the Speaker of the House of Commons and very few are debated on the floor...

 calling for the criminalisation of squatting. His campaign was backed by a series of articles in the Daily Telegraph in which Kenneth Clarke
Kenneth Clarke
Kenneth Harry "Ken" Clarke, QC, MP is a British Conservative politician, currently Member of Parliament for Rushcliffe, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. He was first elected to Parliament in 1970; and appointed a minister in Edward Heath's government, in 1972, and is one of...

 (the Secretary of Justice) and Grant Shapps
Grant Shapps
Grant V Shapps MP is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Welwyn Hatfield in the United Kingdom and Minister of State for Housing and Planning...

 (Minister of Housing) were reported to be backing the move.

The Government then opened a consultation entitled 'Options for dealing with squatters' on July 31 2011, which ran until October 5. It was "aimed at anyone affected by squatters or has experience of using the current law or procedures to get them evicted." The pro-squatting campaign group SQUASH stated that there were "2,217 responses and over 90% of responses argued against taking any action on squatting." Kenneth Clarke then announced an amendment to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill which would criminalise squatting in residential buildings.

Scotland

Squatting is a criminal offence in Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, punishable by a fine or even imprisonment. The owner or lawful occupier of the property has the right to evict squatters without notice or applying to the court for an eviction order, although when evicting, they cannot do anything that would break the law, for example, use violence.

Wales

In 16th- and 17th-century Wales, an expansion in population as well as taxation policy led to a move of people into the Welsh countryside, where they squatted on common land
Common land
Common land is land owned collectively or by one person, but over which other people have certain traditional rights, such as to allow their livestock to graze upon it, to collect firewood, or to cut turf for fuel...

. These squatters built their own property under the assumption of a fictional piece of folklore, leading to the developments of small holdings around a Tŷ unnos, or "house in a night".
In 2010, a representative of the UK Bailiff Company claimed that the number of people squatting in Wales was at its highest for 40 years.

Mexico

In Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, squatters are known as paracaidistas (that is, "paratrooper
Paratrooper
Paratroopers are soldiers trained in parachuting and generally operate as part of an airborne force.Paratroopers are used for tactical advantage as they can be inserted into the battlefield from the air, thereby allowing them to be positioned in areas not accessible by land...

s", because they "drop" themselves mostly at unoccupied lands), and it is a common practice in large cities. Since the most valuable real property is located near the downtowns of the cities, the paracaidistas usually establish slums at unoccupied lands at the outskirts of the cities. Since Mexican laws establish that an individual may take legal possession of a property after five to twenty years of peaceful occupation, many paracaidistas establish themselves with the hope that the legal owner will not discover them and expel them before five years. Large extensions of many Mexican cities were established originally as squats (for example, Nezahualcoyotl, in Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

).
Squatting has also been used with political purposes, with more of one political parties promising existing squatters to legalize their situation if they support their candidates in the elections; or sometimes with the purpose to serve as human obstacles for another party, occupying the space that was going to be used for constructing public buildings or parks.

United States

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, squatting laws vary from state to state and city to city. For the most part, it is rarely tolerated to any degree for long, particularly in cities. There have been a few exceptions, notably in 2002 when the New York City administration agreed to turn over eleven squatted buildings in the Lower East Side to an established non-profit group, on the condition that the apartments would later be turned over to the tenants as low-income housing cooperative
Housing cooperative
A housing cooperative is a legal entity—usually a corporation—that owns real estate, consisting of one or more residential buildings. Each shareholder in the legal entity is granted the right to occupy one housing unit, sometimes subject to an occupancy agreement, which is similar to a lease. ...

s.

Squatters can be young people living in punk house
Punk house
A punk house is a dwelling occupied by members of the punk subculture. Punk houses are similar to the hippie crash pads of the 1960s and the slan shacks of science fiction fandom. The Factory, an alternative living space founded by Andy Warhol as the home base of The Velvet Underground, is directly...

s, low-income or homeless people, street gang members, or artists. Recently there have been increasing numbers of people squatting foreclosed homes. There are also reports of people resquatting their own foreclosed homes.

South America

Around many South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

n cities there are shanty town
Shanty town
A shanty town is a slum settlement of impoverished people who live in improvised dwellings made from scrap materials: often plywood, corrugated metal and sheets of plastic...

s. Sometimes, the authorities tear the houses down, but often, the squatters simply rebuild again. The houses are built out of whatever material can be scavenged from the local area or bought cheaply. As time goes by, the squatters start to form communities and become more established. The houses are rebuilt piece by piece with more durable materials. In some cases, a deal is reached with the authorities and connections for sewage, drinking water, cable television and electricity are made.

In Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, the name given to the squatter settlements is pueblos jóvenes
Pueblos jóvenes
Pueblos jóvenes is the nickname given to the vast shanty towns that surround Lima and other cities of Peru. Many of these towns have developed into significant districts in Lima such as Villa El Salvador and Comas.- Population :...

. In Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

 they are called invasiones (as in "invading a property", as squatting can be related to a building or an empty lot), in Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

 they are known as barrios
Barrios
Barrios, de Barrios, Barrio or Berrios is a surname of Basque origin. The name may refer to:-People:*Agustín Barrios , Paraguayan guitarist and composer*Artur Barrio , Brazilian artist...

, in Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 the term used is villa miseria
Villa miseria
A villa miseria is a form of shanty town or slum found in Argentina, mostly around the largest urban settlements. The term is a compound noun made of the Spanish words villa "village, small town" and miseria "misery, dejection"...

, in Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 they are called Tomas, and in Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

, cantegriles.

Brazil

In Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, these squatter communities are called favela
Favela
A favela is the generally used term for a shanty town in Brazil. In the late 18th century, the first settlements were called bairros africanos . This was the place where former slaves with no land ownership and no options for work lived. Over the years, many freed black slaves moved in...

s, and a famous example is Rocinha
Rocinha
Rocinha is the largest favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and is located in Rio's South Zone between the districts of São Conrado and Gávea. Rocinha is built on a steep hillside overlooking Rio de Janeiro, and is located about one kilometre from a nearby beach...

 in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

, estimated to be home of 100,000 people. Favelas are home to the extremely poor of Brazil and usually lack much infrastructure and public services, but in some cases, already have reached the structure needed for a city. They are equivalent to slums or shanty towns. There are 25 million people living in favelas all over Brazil.

In São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

 the largest favela is Heliópolis
Heliópolis
Heliopolis is a district town in the district of Sacomã, in the southeast area of São Paulo, Brazil. Composed of fourteen plots, it has about 100,000 inhabitants in an area of almost one million square meters. This makes it the largest slum population in the city, but the second in area behind...

, with over 100,000 inhabitants. However, its occupied area has been officially recognized as a regular neighborhood of the city. There are also a number of squatter buildings in the inner city, the most famous of which was a 22-story building called Prestes Maia
Prestes Maia
The Prestes Maia, was the largest squatted highrise building on the South American continent. Originally, 468 families, united through the Downtown Roofless Movement of São Paulo, lived in the 22-storey highrise since 2002.The building had been closed and left in a rundown condition for years,...

, whose inhabitants were finally evicted by the police in 2007 after a long conflict with the city administration.

There are also rural squatter movements in Brazil, such as the Landless Workers' Movement
Landless Workers' Movement
Landless Workers' Movement is a social movement in Brazil; it is the second largest social movement in Latin America with an estimated 1.5 million landless members in 23 out of Brazil's 26 states. The MST states it carries out land reform in a country it sees as mired by unjust land distribution...

, which has an estimated 1.5 million members.

Australia

In the 19th century, a squatter was a person who occupied a large tract of Crown land in order to graze livestock. At first, this was done illegally, and later under license. From the 1820s they were part of the establishment, hence the term Squattocracy. This type of squatting is covered in greater detail at Squatting (pastoral)
Squatting (pastoral)
In Australian history, a squatter was one who occupied a large tract of Crown land in order to graze livestock.  Initially often having no legal rights to the land, they gained its usage by being the first Europeans in the area....

.

In more recent times, there have been squats in the major cities. It would be possible for squatters to be charged with criminal trespass under the Enclosed Lands Protection Act, but mainly, squatters are simply evicted when they are discovered. As in the United Kingdom, there is the law of adverse possession, but it is seldom used.

Sydney

In Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

, streets of terraced houses in areas such as the Rocks
The Rocks, New South Wales
The Rocks is an urban locality, tourist precinct and historic area of Sydney's city centre, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is located on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour, immediately north-west of the Sydney central business district...

 and Potts Point
Potts Point, New South Wales
Potts Point is a small, densely-populated suburb of inner-city Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Potts Point is located 3 kilometres east of the Sydney central business district and is part of the local government area of the City of Sydney....

 were squatted to prevent their demolition in the 1970s. The Glebe estate in Glebe, New South Wales
Glebe, New South Wales
Glebe is an inner-city suburb of Sydney. Glebe is located 3 km south-west of the Sydney central business district and is part of the local government area of the City of Sydney, in the Inner West region....

 was squatted in the 1960s and 1970s, and had an extensive influx of squatters in the 1980s. Also during the 1970s and 1980s, extensive parts of Woolloomooloo and Darlinghurst were also squatted, along corridors of houses bought to make way for new road works. Examples of these include "The Compound" in Darlinghurst and along Palmer Street in Woolloomooloo. Punks, political activists, musicians and artists also started squatting in "The Gunnery", a former Navy warehouse and training facility, in Woolloomooloo, during the early-to-mid 1980s. This squat, a large warehouse with several unusual spaces able to be used as theatres or other venues (thanks to its former use by the Navy) became a critical site for the development of arts and music in Sydney in the mid to late 1980s, with independent musical and art events being held there regularly. It is now an arts centre.,

The artists squatting empty buildings on Broadway owned by South Sydney City Council were evicted in 2001, a few months after the 2000 Olympics.

The Midnight Star was a squatted theatre used as a social centre, hosting music events, a cafe, a library, a free internet space and a Food Not Bombs
Food Not Bombs
Food Not Bombs is a loose-knit group of independent collectives, serving free vegan and vegetarian food to others. Food Not Bombs' ideology is that myriad corporate and government priorities are skewed to allow hunger to persist in the midst of abundance...

 kitchen. It was evicted in December 2002 following its use as a convergence centre for protests against the November World Trade Organisation talks.

In 2003, a legal squat was organised for ten people who moved onto the site of an old incinerator at Green Square
Green Square, New South Wales
Green Square is a district in the inner-city of Sydney in the suburbs of Alexandria, Zetland, Waterloo and Beaconsfield. It is located 4 km south of the Sydney central business district and is part of the local government area of the City of Sydney....

.

A five-year-old squat was peacefully evicted in March 2008, when an office block in Balmain was demolished to make way for a park. The council voted to allow the squatters to stay in the building, which they called Iceland, until the plans for demolition were in place. One of the squatters said, "About 20 people have lived here over the years and it's been a place for band rehearsals, art projects, people practising dance routines, bike workshops. Squatting gives you a chance to think about things other than how you are going to pay the rent and ways to contribute to the world."

The Squatfest film festival began in the Broadway squats in 2001. It is both a celebration of squatting and a protest against the corporate capitalism
Corporate capitalism
Corporate capitalism is a term used in social science and economics to describe a capitalist marketplace characterized by the dominance of hierarchical, bureaucratic corporations, which are legally required to pursue profit....

 of the Tropfest
Tropfest
Tropfest is the world's largest short film festival.Tropfest began in 1993 as a screening for 200 people in a cafe in Sydney but has since become the largest platform for short films in the world. Tropfest Australia takes place in February each year in front of a live audience of approximately...

 film festival in Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

. Every year, a site is occupied and films screened. The location is announced hours before screening begins.

There were estimated to be more than 120,000 unoccupied houses in Sydney in 2011.

Melbourne

Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

 squats are usually located in the inner suburbs, like Footscray, St. Kilda and Coburg. They tend to be houses that are waiting for demolition. A well-known squat in Carlton was organised by international students in 2008. A Squatter's Handbook was produced by activists in 1993, 2001 and 2010.

Brisbane

From 1995 to 2009 in Brisbane
Brisbane
Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred around Brisbane, encompasses a population of...

 the capital of Queensland, a number of old buildings and dilapidated back alleys were used as squats within the vicinity of Brisbane City's Queen Street Mall. There are roughly 30-60 long-term homeless persons in the Brisbane CBD at any one time, who typically use squats as a means of shelter. Irregular intervals can bring 30-60+ short term displaced people.

Social centers

In Europe, it is common for buildings to be squatted to be used as social centres
Social center
Social centers are community spaces. They are buildings which are used for a range of disparate activities, which can be linked only by virtue of being not-for-profit. They might be organizing centers for local activities or they might provide support networks for minority groups such as prisoners...

. Cafés, bars, libraries, free shops, swaps shops and gyms have all been created, with many squats also holding parties
Free party
A free party is a party "free" from the restrictions of the legal club scene, similar to the free festival movement. It typically involves a sound system playing electronic dance music from late at night until the time when the organisers decide to go home. A free party can be composed of just one...

 and concerts. Social centers are often a combination of many things that happen in one space with the aim of creating a space for people to meet in a non-commercial setting, whether it be for a party, political workshop, to see a film, have a drink or have breakfast. There are many squatted social centers around the world, but they exist mainly in countries where squatting is legal. Examples include Ernst-Kirchweger-Haus
Ernst-Kirchweger-Haus
The Ernst-Kirchweger-Haus is a building in Vienna's 10th district, Favoriten.Since June 23, 1990, it has been a squatted social centre, which hosts migrants and refugees, community activities, and political groups.-Overview:...

 in Austria, the RampART Social Centre
RampART Social Centre
The rampART was a squatted social centre in the Whitechapel area of east London, England. It was established in a derelict building in Rampart Street which was previously used as an Islamic school for girls....

 in England, OT301
OT301
OT301 used to be a squat in the Dutch city of Amsterdam which is located on Overtoom 301. EHBK has now bought the building which is used as a multi-media alternative cultural centre. The building is an old film academy and was squatted in 1999 by a group of artists...

 in the Netherlands and Ungdomshuset
Ungdomshuset
Ungdomshuset was the popular name of the building formally named Folkets Hus located on Jagtvej 69 in Nørrebro, Copenhagen, which functioned as an underground scene venue for music and rendezvous point for varying autonomen and leftist groups from 1982 until 2007 when—after prolonged conflict—it...

 in Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 (evicted on March 1, 2007 and demolished four days later).

Notable and well known examples

Country Notable Squats
Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

  • Ernst-Kirchweger-Haus
    Ernst-Kirchweger-Haus
    The Ernst-Kirchweger-Haus is a building in Vienna's 10th district, Favoriten.Since June 23, 1990, it has been a squatted social centre, which hosts migrants and refugees, community activities, and political groups.-Overview:...

     (EKH), Vienna
    Vienna
    Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

  • Prestes Maia
    Prestes Maia
    The Prestes Maia, was the largest squatted highrise building on the South American continent. Originally, 468 families, united through the Downtown Roofless Movement of São Paulo, lived in the 22-storey highrise since 2002.The building had been closed and left in a rundown condition for years,...

    , São Paulo
    São Paulo
    São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

  • Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

  • Frances Street Squats
    Frances Street Squats
    A set of six squatted houses, including one women-only squat, that existed between February and November 27, 1990 in Vancouver on Coast Salish Territory in one of the most successful public squats in Canada.-Going public:...

    , Vancouver
    Vancouver
    Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

  • North Star Hotel
    North Star hotel
    The North Star hotel is a hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, that has been vacant for a number of years. It is at 8 West Hastings Street....

    , Vancouver
    Vancouver
    Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

  • Croatia
    Croatia
    Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

  • Medika, Zagreb
    Zagreb
    Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia. It is in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately above sea level. According to the last official census, Zagreb's city...

  • Karlo Rojc, Pula
    Pula
    Pula is the largest city in Istria County, Croatia, situated at the southern tip of the Istria peninsula, with a population of 62,080 .Like the rest of the region, it is known for its mild climate, smooth sea, and unspoiled nature. The city has a long tradition of winemaking, fishing,...

  • Czech Republic
    Czech Republic
    The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

  • Villa Milada, Prague
    Prague
    Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

     (evicted in 2009)
  • Denmark
    Denmark
    Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

  • Freetown Christiania
    Freetown Christiania
    Not to be confused with Christiania, Norway, another name for Oslo.Christiania, also known as Freetown Christiania is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood of about 850 residents, covering 34 hectares in the borough of Christianshavn in the Danish capital Copenhagen...

    , Copenhagen
    Copenhagen
    Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

  • Ungdomshuset
    Ungdomshuset
    Ungdomshuset was the popular name of the building formally named Folkets Hus located on Jagtvej 69 in Nørrebro, Copenhagen, which functioned as an underground scene venue for music and rendezvous point for varying autonomen and leftist groups from 1982 until 2007 when—after prolonged conflict—it...

    , Copenhagen
    Copenhagen
    Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

  • Finland
    Finland
    Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

  • Satama
    Sosiaalikeskus Satama
    Sosiaalikeskus Satama was a social center in Helsinki, Finland, opened in April 2009. It was located north of the Kalasatama metro station along the Kyläsaarenkatu street, in an old customs building in the central Helsinki district of Sörnäinen, left empty when the harbor operations moved to the...

    , Helsinki
    Helsinki
    Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

  • France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

  • 40-44, avenue Jean-Moulin, Paris
    Paris
    Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

     (evicted the 20th of March 1981)
  • 102, Grenoble
    Grenoble
    Grenoble is a city in southeastern France, at the foot of the French Alps where the river Drac joins the Isère. Located in the Rhône-Alpes region, Grenoble is the capital of the department of Isère...

  • 59 Rivoli, Paris
    Paris
    Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

  • Art-Cloche, Paris
    Paris
    Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

     (evicted the 27th of June 1988)
  • CAES, Ris-Orangis
    Ris-Orangis
    Ris-Orangis is a commune in the southern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris.Inhabitants of Ris-Orangis are known as Rissois.-History:...

  • La Clinique, Montreuil
    Montreuil, Seine-Saint-Denis
    Montreuil is a commune in the eastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the center of Paris. It is the third most populous suburb of Paris...

     (evicted the 8th of July 2009)
  • Espace autogéré des Tanneries, Dijon
    Dijon
    Dijon is a city in eastern France, the capital of the Côte-d'Or département and of the Burgundy region.Dijon is the historical capital of the region of Burgundy. Population : 151,576 within the city limits; 250,516 for the greater Dijon area....

  • Hôpital éphémère, Paris
    Paris
    Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

     (evicted in 1995)
  • Le Château Pirate, Paris
    Paris
    Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

     (evicted the 1st of June 2011)
  • Les Frigos, Paris
    Paris
    Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

  • La Miroiterie, Paris
    Paris
    Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

  • La Pelle-Tueuse, Grenoble
    Grenoble
    Grenoble is a city in southeastern France, at the foot of the French Alps where the river Drac joins the Isère. Located in the Rhône-Alpes region, Grenoble is the capital of the department of Isère...

     (evicted the 3rd of June 2010)
  • Le Pigeonnier, Nice
    Nice
    Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, with a population of 348,721 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of more than 955,000 on an area of...

  • Le Théâtre de Verre, Paris
    Paris
    Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

  • Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

  • Anatopia
    Anatopia
    Anatopia was a land squat in Papenburg, Germany. The site was squatted July 4 1991 and evicted January 7 1995 after a long struggle. It was on a location where the Mercedes Benz automobile company intended to build a test track and became the focus of anti-Mercedes protests throughout Germany. The...

    , Papenburg
    Papenburg
    Papenburg is a city in the district of Emsland in Lower Saxony, Germany, situated at the river Ems. It is known for its large shipyard, the Meyer-Werft, which specializes in building cruise liners.-Districts:...

  • Au
    Au (squat)
    Au the name of a building that has been squatted since June 4, 1983 in Frankfurt, Germany. It bills itself as an "Autonomous Cultural Centre and Living Project"....

    , Frankfurt
    Frankfurt
    Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

  • Brunnenstraße183, Berlin
    Berlin
    Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

     (evicted November 24, 2009)
  • Hafenstraße
    Hafenstraße
    Hafenstraße is a common German abbreviation of St. Pauli-Hafenstraße, a street in St. Pauli, a quarter of Hamburg, Germany....

    , Hamburg
    Hamburg
    -History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

  • Rote Flora
    Rote Flora
    The Rote Flora is a former theater in the neighbourhood Schanzenviertel in Hamburg. It has been squatted in November 1989 in response to the decision to turn it into a musical theatre.- History of the building :...

    , Hamburg
    Hamburg
    -History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

  • Topf and Sons
    Topf and Sons
    J.A. Topf and Sons was a German engineering company, which designed and built the incineration furnaces used by the Nazis at concentration and extermination camps during the Holocaust; including Auschwitz-Birkenau, Buchenwald, Belzec, Dachau, Mauthausen and Gusen...

     factory, Erfurt
    Erfurt
    Erfurt is the capital city of Thuringia and the main city nearest to the geographical centre of Germany, located 100 km SW of Leipzig, 150 km N of Nuremberg and 180 km SE of Hannover. Erfurt Airport can be reached by plane via Munich. It lies in the southern part of the Thuringian...

  • Kunsthaus Tacheles
    Kunsthaus Tacheles
    The Kunsthaus Tacheles , is an art center in Berlin, a large building on Oranienburger Straße in the district known as Mitte. Huge, colorful graffiti-style murals are painted on the exterior walls, and modern art sculptures are featured inside...

    , Berlin
    Berlin
    Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

  • Greece
    Greece
    Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

  • Fabrika Yfanet, Thessaloniki
    Thessaloniki
    Thessaloniki , historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace...

  • Villa Amalia, Athens
    Athens
    Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

  • Matsagou, Volos
    Volos
    Volos is a coastal port city in Thessaly situated midway on the Greek mainland, about 326 km north of Athens and 215 km south of Thessaloniki...

  • Rosa Nera, Chania
    Chania
    Chaniá , , also transliterated Chania, Hania, and Xania, older form Chanea and Venetian Canea, Ottoman Turkish خانيه Hanya) is the second largest city of Crete and the capital of the Chania peripheral unit...

  • Antiviosi, Ioannina
    Ioannina
    Ioannina , often called Jannena within Greece, is the largest city of Epirus, north-western Greece, with a population of 70,203 . It lies at an elevation of approximately 500 meters above sea level, on the western shore of lake Pamvotis . It is located within the Ioannina municipality, and is the...

  • Italy
    Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

  • Lsoa Buridda, Genova
    Génova
    Génova may refer to:* Spanish spelling of the city of Genoa, Italy* Génova, Quindío, a municipality in the department of Quindío, Colombia* Génova, Quetzaltenango, a municipality in the department of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala...

  • Csoa Terra di Nessuno, Genova
    Génova
    Génova may refer to:* Spanish spelling of the city of Genoa, Italy* Génova, Quindío, a municipality in the department of Quindío, Colombia* Génova, Quetzaltenango, a municipality in the department of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala...

  • CS Leoncavallo, Milan
    Milan
    Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

  • Officina 99, Naples
    Naples
    Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

  • Bussana Vecchia, Liguria
    Liguria
    Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy, the third smallest of the Italian regions. Its capital is Genoa. It is a popular region with tourists for its beautiful beaches, picturesque little towns, and good food.-Geography:...

  • Social centers category on Italian Wikipedia
  • Lithuania
    Lithuania
    Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

  • Užupis
    Užupis
    Užupis is a neighborhood in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, largely located in Vilnius' old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Užupis means "on the other side of the river" in the Lithuanian language and refers to the Vilnia River. The name Vilnius was derived from the Vilnia...

    , Vilnius
    Vilnius
    Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city, with a population of 560,190 as of 2010. It is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County...

  • Moldova
    Moldova
    Moldova , officially the Republic of Moldova is a landlocked state in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the West and Ukraine to the North, East and South. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991, as part...

  • Centro 73
    Centro 73
    Centro 73 is a social and cultural center of Chişinău and the first squat created in Moldova, which opened the 25th of September 2010. It is located 73, Alexei Mateevici street....

    , Chişinău
    Chisinau
    Chișinău is the capital and largest municipality of Moldova. It is also its main industrial and commercial centre and is located in the middle of the country, on the river Bîc...

  • Mozambique
    Mozambique
    Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

  • Grande Hotel Beira
    Grande Hotel Beira
    The Grande Hotel Beira was a luxury hotel in Beira, Mozambique that was open from 1952 to 1963. It continued to be used during the 1960s as a conference center and swimming pool. During the Mozambican Civil War it served as a refugee camp...

    , Beira
    Beira, Mozambique
    Beira is the second largest city in Mozambique. It lies in the central region of the country in Sofala Province, where the Pungue River meets the Indian Ocean. Beira had a population of 412,588 in 1997, which grew to an estimated 546,000 in 2006...

  • Netherlands
    Netherlands
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

  • ASCII
    ASCII (squat)
    The Amsterdam Subversive Center for Information Interchange was a squatted communication laboratory in the Dutch city of Amsterdam. The first incarnation was formed in 1999 and based at the Herengracht...

    , Amsterdam
    Amsterdam
    Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

  • OT301
    OT301
    OT301 used to be a squat in the Dutch city of Amsterdam which is located on Overtoom 301. EHBK has now bought the building which is used as a multi-media alternative cultural centre. The building is an old film academy and was squatted in 1999 by a group of artists...

    , Amsterdam
    Amsterdam
    Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

  • Ruigoord
    Ruigoord
    Ruigoord is a former island and a village in the Houtrakpolder in the IJ meer in the Dutch province of North Holland. It is a part of the municipality of Amsterdam, and lies about 8 km east of Haarlem....

    , Amsterdam
    Amsterdam
    Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

  • Huize Spoorloos, Emmen
  • HCZ, Eindhoven
  • De Blauwe Aanslag
    De Blauwe Aanslag
    De Blauwe Aanslag was a squat in the Dutch city of The Hague. The property was a former tax office which was squatted in 1980. The name refers the blue papers which a person must fill in every year as a tax return....

    , The Hague
    The Hague
    The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

  • Fort Pannerden
    Fort Pannerden
    Fort Pannerden is a disused military fort situated near the village of Pannerden in the southeast of the Netherlands. In November 2006, it became the focus of national news stories because a group of squatters were evicted in a large-scale operation by police, helped by the army...

    , Pannerden
    Pannerden
    Pannerden is a village in the Dutch province of Gelderland. It is located in the municipality of Rijnwaarden.Pannerden was a separate municipality from 1818 to 1985, when it became a part of the new municipality of Rijnwaarden.-External links:*...

  • Poortgebouw
    Poortgebouw
    The Poortgebouw is a national monument located by the River Maas in the Kop van Zuid area of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. It was built in 1879 and experienced a range of uses until it was squatted October 3, 1980...

    , Rotterdam
    Rotterdam
    Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre...

  • Het Slaakhuis
    Het Slaakhuis
    Het Slaakhuis is a squat in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It is located on a street called Slaak and was squatted in May 2003. Initially the space hosted film nights, workshops, parties and a cafe. There was a free shop and lessons were taught in Dutch and kung fu.The building is a six-storey office...

    , Rotterdam
    Rotterdam
    Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre...

  • Norway
    Norway
    Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

  • Blitz
    Blitz (movement)
    Blitz is an anarchist, communist and socialist youth community in Oslo, Norway, founded in 1982. The group has often been criticized for their use of violent methods of political protest.- The house :...

    , Oslo
    Oslo
    Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

  • Hausmania
    Hausmania
    Hausmania is a self-governed cultural house in Oslo, Norway. It is run by a group of underground artists based on collectivist ideology. It is located in Hausmannsgate 34 in Oslo and is a fertile ground for avant-garde art.-History:...

    , Oslo
    Oslo
    Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

  • 40, Oslo
    Oslo
    Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

  • Philippines
    Philippines
    The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

  • Smokey Mountain
    Smokey Mountain
    Smokey Mountain was a Filipino singing group formed by musical director, composer, conductor Ryan Cayabyab and executive producer Judd Berlin...

    , Manila
    Manila
    Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

  • Poland
    Poland
    Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

  • Rozbrat, Poznań
    Poznan
    Poznań is a city on the Warta river in west-central Poland, with a population of 556,022 in June 2009. It is among the oldest cities in Poland, and was one of the most important centres in the early Polish state, whose first rulers were buried at Poznań's cathedral. It is sometimes claimed to be...

  • Krzyk, Gliwice
    Gliwice
    Gliwice is a city in Upper Silesia in southern Poland, near Katowice. Gliwice is the west district of the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union – a metropolis with a population of 2 million...

  • Elektromadonna, Częstochowa
    Czestochowa
    Częstochowa is a city in south Poland on the Warta River with 240,027 inhabitants . It has been situated in the Silesian Voivodeship since 1999, and was previously the capital of Częstochowa Voivodeship...

  • Slovenia
    Slovenia
    Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

  • Sokolski dom, Novo mesto
    Novo Mesto
    Novo Mesto is a city and municipality in southeastern Slovenia, close to the border with Croatia. The town is traditionally considered the economic and cultural centre of the historic Lower Carniola region.-Geography:...

     (former cultural centre)
  • Metelkova
    Metelkova
    Metelkova City is an autonomous social centre in the centre of Ljubljana, Slovenia. It is located on the site of former military barracks and was squatted September 1993. The site consists of seven buildings and was 12,500 m²...

    , Ljubljana
    Ljubljana
    Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and its largest city. It is the centre of the City Municipality of Ljubljana. It is located in the centre of the country in the Ljubljana Basin, and is a mid-sized city of some 270,000 inhabitants...

     (claimed free state in former army garrison)
  • Tovarna Rog, Ljubljana
    Ljubljana
    Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and its largest city. It is the centre of the City Municipality of Ljubljana. It is located in the centre of the country in the Ljubljana Basin, and is a mid-sized city of some 270,000 inhabitants...

     (abandoned bike factory)
  • Slovakia
    Slovakia
    The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

  • Palac Sofia, Zilina
    Žilina
    Žilina is a city in north-western Slovakia, around from the capital Bratislava, close to both the Czech and Polish borders. It is the fourth largest city of Slovakia with a population of approximately 85,000, an important industrial center, the largest city on the Váh river, and the seat of a...

  • South Africa
    South Africa
    The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

  • Kennedy Road
    Kennedy Road, Durban
    Kennedy Road is a shack settlement, in the suburb of Clare Estate in Durban, in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. It was founded by a Mr. Mzobe in the late 1970s. The land on which the settlement was founded is steep and runs down between the Municipal Dump and the 6 lane Umgeni Road...

    , Durban
    Durban
    Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

  • Joe Slovo Informal Settlement, Cape Town
    Cape Town
    Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

  • Symphony Way Pavement Dwellers
    Symphony Way Pavement Dwellers
    Symphony Way Informal Settlement is a small community of pavement dwellers that have been living on Symphony Way, a main road in Delft, South Africa, since February 2008...

    , Cape Town
    Cape Town
    Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

  • Spain
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

  • Can Masdeu
    Can Masdeu
    Can Masdeu is a squatted social centre, residence and community garden in the Collserola Park on the outskirts of Barcelona. A former leper hospital which had been abandoned for some 53 years before its eviction, the squat became famous in 2002, when squatters in lockons and on tripods...

    , Barcelona
    Barcelona
    Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

  • Switzerland
    Switzerland
    Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

  • RHINO
    RHINO (squat)
    RHINO was a famous squat in Geneva, Switzerland. It occupied two buildings on the Boulevard des Philosophes in downtown Geneva, a few blocks away from the main campus of the University of Geneva. RHINO housed about seventy people before its evacuation in July 2007 and had been occupied by the...

    , Geneva
    Geneva
    Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

  • Kulturzentrum Reithalle, Bern
  • CSOA il Molino, Lugano
    Lugano
    Lugano is a city of inhabitants in the city proper and a total of over 145,000 people in the agglomeration/city region, in the south of Switzerland, in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, which borders Italy...

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

  • The Oubliette Arthouse, London
    London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

  • Eel Pie Island
    Eel Pie Island
    Eel Pie Island is an island in the River Thames in England at Twickenham, in the Borough of Richmond upon Thames, London. It is situated on the Tideway and can be reached only by footbridge or boat...

    , London
    London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

  • RampART Social Centre
    RampART Social Centre
    The rampART was a squatted social centre in the Whitechapel area of east London, England. It was established in a derelict building in Rampart Street which was previously used as an Islamic school for girls....

    , London
    London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

  • Spike Surplus Scheme, London
    London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

  • Argyle Street Squat, Norwich
    Norwich
    Norwich is a city in England. It is the regional administrative centre and county town of Norfolk. During the 11th century, Norwich was the largest city in England after London, and one of the most important places in the kingdom...

  • St Agnes Place
    St Agnes Place
    St Agnes Place was a squatted street in Kennington, South London, which resisted eviction orders for more than 30 years.- History :On 1 June 1969 house number 54 was the first to be squatted. The council had acquired the unit and planned to demolish it for the extension to Kennington Park. The...

    , London
    London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

  • Medina House
    Medina House
    Medina House is a building located on the seafront of Hove, Sussex, England. After falling into disuse it was squatted for several years. During this period the property owner, Sirus Taghan, agreed that the occupants could remain, so long as the property was kept in the same condition as before...

    , Hove
    Hove
    Hove is a town on the south coast of England, immediately to the west of its larger neighbour Brighton, with which it forms the unitary authority Brighton and Hove. It forms a single conurbation together with Brighton and some smaller towns and villages running along the coast...

  • Kew Bridge Eco Village, London
    London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

  • United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

  • ABC No Rio
    ABC No Rio
    ABC No Rio is a social center located at 156 Rivington Street on New York City's Lower East Side that was founded in 1980. It features a gallery space, a zine library, a darkroom, a silkscreening studio, and public computer lab...

    , New York City
    New York City
    New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

    ,
  • C-Squat
    C-Squat
    C Squat is a squat located at 155 Avenue C in the East Village of Manhattan, New York City, in an area called Loisaida.-History:Journalist and author Robert Neuwirth described the situation that gave birth to many of New York's squats, including C Squat, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, "In the...

    , New York City
    New York City
    New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

  • People's Park
    People's Park (Berkeley)
    People's Park in Berkeley, California, USA, is a park off Telegraph Avenue, bounded by Haste and Bowditch streets and Dwight Way, near the University of California, Berkeley. The park was created during the radical political activism of the late 1960s....

    , Berkeley
    Berkeley, California
    Berkeley is a city on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay in Northern California, United States. Its neighbors to the south are the cities of Oakland and Emeryville. To the north is the city of Albany and the unincorporated community of Kensington...

  • Zzyzx Mineral Springs and Health Spa
    Zzyzx, California
    Zzyzx, California , formerly Camp Soda and Soda Springs, is a settlement in San Bernardino County, California. It is the former site of the Zzyzx Mineral Springs and Health Spa and now the site of the Desert Studies Center...

  • 92 Bird Avenue, Buffalo, NY
  • Slab City
    Slab City
    Slab City or The Slabs is a camp in the Colorado Desert in southeastern California, used by recreational vehicle owners and squatters from across North America. It takes its name from the concrete slabs and pylons that remain from the abandoned World War II Marine barracks Camp Dunlap there...

    , Niland, CA
  • lowercase collective, Chicago, IL

  • Well-known squatters

    • Black Donnellys
      Black Donnellys
      The Black Donnellys is the common nickname of the Donnelly family who emigrated from County Tipperary, Ireland, to Canada in about 1845–1846, and who participated in a notorious feud in Biddulph Township in Middlesex County, Ontario, which culminated in a massacre in which five family members were...

      , James Donnelly squatted on the southeastern quarter of Lot 18, Concession 6 (also known as the Roman Line), Biddulph Township, Canada West.
    • Robert Harrill
      Robert Harrill
      Robert E. Harrill or Robert Harrell, , was known as "The Fort Fisher Hermit". He became a hermit in 1955 at the age of 62 after a string of unsuccessful and unsatisfying jobs and a failed marriage. Harrill hitchhiked to Fort Fisher on the North Carolina Coast from Morganton, North Carolina, a...

      , known as "The Fort Fisher Hermit", set up a simple home in an abandoned World War II era bunker near the Cape Fear River, NC, along a salt marsh.
    • Randy Quaid
      Randy Quaid
      Randall Rudy "Randy" Quaid is an American actor perhaps best known for his role as Cousin Eddie in the National Lampoon's Vacation movies, as well as his numerous supporting roles in films, including his Oscar nominated performance in The Last Detail, Independence Day, Kingpin and Brokeback Mountain...

      , arrested in 2010 for squatting in a home he had previously owned
    • Curtis Howe Springer
      Curtis Howe Springer
      Curtis Howe Springer was an American radio evangelist, self-proclaimed medical doctor and Methodist minister best known for founding the Zzyzx Mineral Springs resort located within Southern California's Mojave Desert...

      , found guilty of the charge of squatting on federal land
    • Richard Stallman
      Richard Stallman
      Richard Matthew Stallman , often shortened to rms,"'Richard Stallman' is just my mundane name; you can call me 'rms'"|last= Stallman|first= Richard|date= N.D.|work=Richard Stallman's homepage...

      , American software freedom activist, hacker, and software developer
      Software developer
      A software developer is a person concerned with facets of the software development process. Their work includes researching, designing, developing, and testing software. A software developer may take part in design, computer programming, or software project management...

      , called himself a squatter on campus.
    • Robert Louis Stevenson
      Robert Louis Stevenson
      Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer. His best-known books include Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde....

      , Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer
    • Joe Strummer
      Joe Strummer
      John Graham Mellor , best remembered by his stage name Joe Strummer, was the co-founder, lyricist, rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist of the British punk rock band The Clash. His musical experience included his membership in The 101ers, Latino Rockabilly War, The Mescaleros and The Pogues, in...

      , the co-founder, lyricist, rhythm guitarist and lead singer of the English punk rock band The Clash
    • Monckton Synnot
      Monckton Synnot
      Monckton Synnot was a prominent squatter in Victoria, Australia, the sixth son of Captain Walter Synnot and his second wife Elizabeth, née Houston, and the grandson of Sir Walter Synnot, of Ballymoyer, County Armagh....

      , prominent squatter in Victoria, Australia
    • Stza
      Stza
      Scott Sturgeon, also known as Stza Crack , is a musician who has fronted several ska-punk bands in the New York City area, the best known being Choking Victim and Leftöver Crack...

      , fronted several skacore bands in the New York City area, the best known being Choking Victim and Leftöver Crack
    • Sid Vicious
      Sid Vicious
      Sid Vicious was an English musician best known as the bassist of the influential punk rock group Sex Pistols...

      , English musician best known as the former bassist of the influential punk rock group Sex Pistols
    • Gerrard Winstanley
      Gerrard Winstanley
      Gerrard Winstanley was an English Protestant religious reformer and political activist during the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell...

      , English Protestant religious reformer and political activist during the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell
    • S'bu Zikode
      S'bu Zikode
      Sibusiso Innocent Zikode is the president of the South African shack dwellers' movement Abahlali baseMjondolo. According to the Mail & Guardian "Under his stewardship, ABM has made steady gains for housing rights." -Biography:...

      , elected head of the South African shackdwellers' movement Abahlali baseMjondolo

    Urban homesteading

    Urban homesteading is a form of self-help housing where abandoned private properties in urban areas are taken over by the building’s usually poor residents.

    Sometimes this takes the form of squatting, which is not legal under many jurisdictions. Urban homesteading - in which residents rehabilitate the apartments through their own labor - may depart from squatting in some ways, especially philosophically.

    While both groups may work initially with no permits, architectural plans or help from the government, self-help housing aims to manage the buildings cooperatively, and residents may work collaboratively with a non-profit organization or city government to legally obtain ownership of the building.

    In some cases, urban homesteading is an organic phenomenon that evolves as a grassroots strategy of residents for dealing with a lack of affordable housing, or a sizable existence of abandoned, depressed, neglected or foreclosed housing stock. Some cities have used it as a solution to creating affordable housing.

    See also

    • Abahlali baseMjondolo
      Abahlali baseMjondolo
      Abahlali baseMjondolo , also known as AbM or the red shirts is a shack-dwellers' movement in South Africa which is well known for its campaigning for public housing. The movement grew out of a road blockade organized from the Kennedy Road shack settlement in the city of Durban in early 2005 and now...

    • Adverse possession
      Adverse possession
      Adverse possession is a process by which premises can change ownership. It is a common law concept concerning the title to real property . By adverse possession, title to another's real property can be acquired without compensation, by holding the property in a manner that conflicts with the true...

    • Claim club
      Claim club
      Claim clubs, also called Actual Settlers' Associations or Squatters' Clubs, were a nineteenth century phenomenon in the American West. Usually operating within a confined local jurisdiction, these pseudo-governmental entities sought to regulate land sales in places where there was little or no...

    • Gecekondu
      Gecekondu
      Gecekondu is a Turkish word meaning a house put up quickly without proper permissions, a squatter's house, and by extension, a shanty or shack...

       Squatting public land in Turkey.
    • Homeless Workers' Movement
      Homeless Workers' Movement
      The Homeless Workers Movement is a shack-dwellers' movement in Brazil. It originated from the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra in 1997...

    • Inclusionary zoning
      Inclusionary zoning
      Inclusionary zoning, also known as inclusionary housing, is an American term which refers to municipal and county planning ordinances that require a given share of new construction to be affordable by people with low to moderate incomes...

    • Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Teto (MTST)
    • Squatting (pastoral)
      Squatting (pastoral)
      In Australian history, a squatter was one who occupied a large tract of Crown land in order to graze livestock.  Initially often having no legal rights to the land, they gained its usage by being the first Europeans in the area....

      , in Australia
      Australia
      Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

      , often a large landholder, as in Waltzing Matilda
      Waltzing Matilda
      "Waltzing Matilda" is Australia's most widely known bush ballad. A country folk song, the song has been referred to as "the unofficial national anthem of Australia"....

      .
    • Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign
      Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign
      The Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign is a non-racial popular movement made up of poor and oppressed communities in Cape Town, South Africa...



    Further reading

    • 949 Market (2002) - a zine
      Zine
      A zine is most commonly a small circulation publication of original or appropriated texts and images. More broadly, the term encompasses any self-published work of minority interest usually reproduced via photocopier....

       by a group of people who squatted an abandoned pool hall in a very public way and created a community center in San Francisco.
    • Corr, A. (1999) No Trespassing! Squatting, Rent Strikes and Land Struggles Worldwide South End Press
      South End Press
      South End Press is a non-profit book publisher run on a model of participatory economics. It was founded in 1977 by Michael Albert, Lydia Sargent, John Schall, Pat Walker, Juliet Schor, Mary Lea, Joe Bowring, and Dave Millikan, among others, in Boston's South End...

       ISBN 0-89608-595-3
    • Cracking The Movement (1994) - Amsterdam squatter history and the movement's relation to the media. Also available online
    • Cracking The System (2008) - A zine about squats and social centres in Europe inspired by the april2008 initiative. Also available online
    • Katsiaficas, G. (1999) The Subversion of Politics: European Autonomous Social Movements and the Decolonization of Everyday Life Humanity Books ISBN 1-57392-441-5 Also available online
    • Waterhouse, Richard (2005). The Vision Splendid: A Social and Cultural History of Rural Australia, Fremantle, Curtain University Books
    • War In The Neighborhood – a Graphic Novel about squatting on New York City
      New York City
      New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

      's Lower East Side
      Lower East Side
      The Lower East Side, LES, is a neighborhood in the southeastern part of the New York City borough of Manhattan. It is roughly bounded by Allen Street, East Houston Street, Essex Street, Canal Street, Eldridge Street, East Broadway, and Grand Street....

       in the 1980s by World War 3 Illustrated
      World War 3 Illustrated
      World War 3 Illustrated is an American comics anthology magazine with a left-wing political focus, founded in 1980 by New York comic book artists Peter Kuper and Seth Tobocman, and painter Christof Kohlhofer, and subsequently produced by a collective with a rotating editorship...

       artist and editor Seth Tobocman
      Seth Tobocman
      Seth Tobocman is a radical comic book artist who has been living in Manhattan's Lower East Side since 1978. Tobocman is best known for his creation of the political comic book World War 3 Illustrated, which he started in 1979 with fellow artist Peter Kuper...

      published by Autonomedia

    External links

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